fragile or strong?

Jeffrey is skiing with the kids today, which means that he took the car up to the mountain after he dropped me off at church (Point A).  I had plans to be picked up by a friend, driven to a three-woman hangout (Point B) with another friend, who would later drive me to my evening rehearsal downtown (Point C), after which I’d ask my director to drive me home (Point D).  Or call Jeffrey to pick me up.

Friend #1, my ride from point A to point B, fell through, leaving me stranded at church trying to figure out the rest of my plans for the day.  I scanned my options as folks walked out of the foyer… I know most of them well enough to expect that they’d be happy to give me a ride downtown, but I was hesitant to ask.  What was it?  Partially embarrassment… I want to be seen as a responsible adult who has my shit together enough to know how I’m getting from Point A to Point B.  Only irresponsible teenagers ask for rides at the last minute (my snarky mind says)…

At the same time, I have a deep commitment to INTERdependence, and I feel great joy when I walk the web of friends…tribe… community.  I think part of my reluctance comes from not wanting to make others uncomfortable, those people who I don’t yet know if they want to be part of my web.  But really, aren’t we all automatically part of the same web, whether we want it or not?  In some ways, asking for help is a form of activism, making the web apparent by stepping out onto it, demonstrating its ability to hold me.

It’s different than a tightrope, because when the strand of Friend #1 fell through, there was another strand nearby to step onto.  I asked Lea, a woman I know better than many others, if she’d drive me downtown, where I could drink tea for the 4 hours until my rehearsal.  As we drove away from church, I noticed my disappointment at spending the entire afternoon alone downtown.  She offered to drive me home, if I could find a ride to rehearsal later on.  An afternoon alone at home!  A gift, to a mom and stepmom of 3 kids!  So, I called a few people from the cast, and quickly found someone who was willing to get me (but again, the same anxiety about asking for help).

Lea had to stop at her house first to pack her car with stuff to take to her daughter at a nearby college, because dropping me off at home would be on her way out of town.  We worked together, and finished quickly.  She was just as appreciative for my help as I was for getting a ride home!  Walking the web together…

And now, I’m home, enjoying the peace and beauty of this cabin in the woods, ready for my ride to come get me in a bit.

Reflecting…  I felt SO FRUSTRATED this afternoon, to the point of tears welling up in my eyes!  Frustrated with my friend for bailing on me, with Jeffrey for taking the car away all day, with the layout of this town and the lack of extensive public transportation (especially on Sundays), and with myself for all my anxieties and hangups and insecurity.  It’s times like this when I really miss the commune, where everything is in walking distance, where I had 100 people supporting my life, where I could always find a close friend who I could ask to help me.  This crazy town life, living in a community of thousands, mostly people I don’t know…  Can I trust this web?  That’s the anxiety… wanting to believe in interdependence, and feeling afraid of walking out on the web only to have it fall away beneath my feet.  When I put it that way, I know it’s one of my jobs out here to walk the web, to show its strength, to live the example of an interdependent life.

And with that, my ride is here…